Earning Zero Mileage Points

Last month, my wife and I took a short trip to Europe flying Qatar Airways. Being a long flight halfway around the world, I was a little curious as to how many mileage points I would get. I later checked my JAL Mileage Bank report (JAL and Qatar Airways are both members of OneWorld), and was a bit…

Joanna of Vienna

We Filipinos are very good in recognizing other Filipinos wherever we are in the world. We know it immediately even without saying or hearing a word. We can tell by the way we smile, or the way we make eye contact. We just know. And once we make a positive identification, a simple “kumusta po?”…

Sold my iMac for 29K yen

I’ve had my iMac for more than 6 years now, and after discussions with my wife, we decided it’s time to get a new one. Now the question is, what to do with the old iMac. Send it home The first thing to come to mind is to send it back to the Philippines. For…

Philippine Elections 2016 on Google Trends

I did a quick search on Google Trends with regard to our five presidential candidates and the result I got is interesting, but not at all surprising. If the Philippine Elections were a contest on who generates the most online buzz, i.e. “trending”, there seems to be one clear winner — Rodrigo Duterte. It’s not even close. Of…

Azaleas of Minami-Senju

Not known to many people, but Minami-Senju is kind of a hidden gem, known among the locals and hobbyist photographers for azalea spring viewing. The blooms usually start after the sakura cherry blossoms season (mid-April), and last a couple of weeks until around the Japanese golden week (early-May). During this period, the sidewalks and the center…

Playing The Blame Game

The other day, I was having this somewhat philosophical discussion with one of my managers and one question raised was “When a student fails a test, who should we blame?”

Three Day Weekend in Kyushu

Last month during the three day weekend (March 19-21), my wife and I went on a trip to Kyushu, in particular in Fukuoka and Mount Aso in Kumamoto. Day One in Fukuoka Interestingly, the first thing people ask me when I tell them I am going to Fukuoka is, “What’s in Fukuoka?”. Aside from tonkotsu…

Filipinos Applying For Schengen Visa from Japan

My wife and I just received our Schengen Visas today, and to help other Filipinos who would also like to visit the Schengen Area, let me share our experience getting it. We were planning to visit Austria and Germany in May so we figured two months before our planned trip would be a good time…

Moriyama Naotaro’s "Sakura"

Moriyama Naotaro’s Sakura is a classic Japanese song that I associate heavily with the cherry blossoms season (“sakura” is Japanese for cherry blossoms) and with graduation ceremonies. It is definitely one of my favorite Japanese songs and when I see cherry blossoms, this is always the first song that comes to mind. Original Singer: Moriyama…

Watching Pacquiao vs Bradley Match In Japan

On April 10th 11 AM Japan time (10 AM Philippine time). Pacquiao will fight his final match as a professional boxer. His opponent would be a familiar face, Timothy Bradley, with whom he has a 1 win 1 loss record. The question in the mind of most Filipinos in Tokyo would be where to watch…

Visit From A Policeman

The other morning while I was home alone, I heard the apartment doorbell ringing and when I checked the security camera, I saw a policeman waiting outside the building. Normally, I do not answer the doorbell if I’m not expecting a visitor or a delivery, but seeing he was a policeman, I answered and let…